The Mark of the Berserker
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|10 – The Mark of the Berserker|
|The Sarah Jane Adventures story|
|Directed by||Joss Agnew|
|Written by||Joseph Lidster|
|Script editor||Gary Russell|
|Produced by||Matthew Bouch|
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies
|Production code||2.7 and 2.8|
|Length||2 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Originally broadcast||3 & 10 November 2008|
The Mark of the Berserker is a story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which was broadcast on CBBC on 3 and 10 November 2008. It is the fourth serial of the second series. Due to Elisabeth Sladen's commitments elsewhere, main character Sarah Jane has a minor role in this serial, making the episodes similar to the 'Doctor-lite' episodes of Doctor Who ("Love & Monsters", "Blink", "Turn Left" and "The Girl Who Waited") which do not feature The Doctor heavily, as well as the Torchwood episode "Random Shoes", which had minor roles for most of the main cast.
Luke Smith is going for a sleepover at Clyde Langer's house whilst Sarah Jane goes away for the weekend. Clyde's estranged father Paul turns up hoping to get to know his son. Jacob, the unpopular kid in school, is in possession of an alien pendant. Jacob discovers that he can use it to control other people, while leaving a strange blue handmark on his palm. When he takes a teacher's and other student's voice in a detention, Jacob rushes to the bathroom to wash the handmark off. When he successfully does so, Rani knocks on the door and distracts him. Jacob leaves the room but hides outside. Rani enters the bathroom cautiously, and finds the pendant. When she discovers, through instructing her dad, that it can control people, she takes it to Sarah Jane's house for Mr Smith to investigate it. Sarah Jane, however, has disabled Mr Smith while she is away. Rani leaves the pendant hanging on a roof beam. Clyde tells his father about the adventures he has with Luke, "saving the world". When his father does not believe him, Clyde takes him to visit Sarah Jane's attic. While Clyde shows him some of the objects in the attic and tells him about Mr Smith, Paul notices the pendant and pockets it. When they leave the house, Rani's father spots them and comes over to investigate. In possession of the alien pendant, Paul discovers that he can control people, after making Rani's father a victim of the pendant for the second time that day. After Luke and Rani turn up, Paul instructs his son Clyde, over whom he now has control, to forget who they are and that he has ever seen them before. Clyde, as he must, accepts his father's command.
After Clyde goes off with Paul, Luke and Rani ponder about what to do to save their friend. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Sarah Jane, who is pursuing a mischievous slug-like alien in a hospital, they contact Maria and her father in Washington DC. They send a picture of the pendant to them to investigate as Mr Jackson can hack into UNIT. They discover that the pendant belongs to a race of alien warriors known as the Berserkers, and that using the pendant can change the user into one of them, including marking their hands and turning their veins blue. Rani's father refuses to stop the pressups and Paul gets everything he wants for free, and uses this as a bonding method with his son. He instructs Clyde to forget about how he left him and his mum when he was young and, indeed, to forget about his mum.
Luke and Rani head over to Clyde's house and explain the situation to Clyde's mum, Carla. Together, they get into Carla's car and drive off to find Clyde and Paul.
The effects of the pendant take over Paul's skin and his mind. He cannot control it and collapses, but then stands up, now possessed by the pendant. He announces that he is the Berserker and that Clyde is his soldier. Sarah Jane appears and Clyde recognizes her. She tells him that his mum, Rani, and Luke are the most important people in his life when he asks who they are. Clyde and his mum talk Paul through his memories, whilst Sarah Jane shows him a reflection of himself in the mirror, and he remembers who he really is. Everyone who the Berserker commanded has their commands undone. Clyde tries to get his mum and dad back together, but Paul tells his son that he has made his Mum's sister pregnant. Clyde tells his father he doesn't need him and not to mess up with this baby. Clyde tells his mother to forget about the pendant, what she knows about Sarah Jane's adventures with her son, and his father. Clyde chucks away the pendant, into the sea. Sarah Jane reveals that her parents died when she was young and she would do anything to see them again. When Clyde is gone, she takes out a picture of her mother and father and rubs her finger over the latter.
- Paul Langer casually refers to Daleks in a conversation about aliens; the Daleks invaded Earth and became common knowledge in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" Doctor Who 2008 two-parter. Clyde mentions encountering the Slitheen (Revenge of the Slitheen and The Lost Boy) and the Sontarans (The Last Sontaran) and Paul picks up the M.I.T.R.E. headset from The Lost Boy when exploring Sarah Jane's attic.
- Sarah Jane states that she is visiting Tarminster. Tarminster is featured in the Doctor Who serial Terror of the Autons. The Harold Saxon promotional website mentions that Lucy Saxon's father was Lord Cole of Tarminster.
- Clyde stirs Sarah Jane's memories of her own parents, whom she longs to have known. This foreshadows the plot of the next episode.
As Clyde's mum prepares breakfast, the Mika song "Grace Kelly" plays on the radio. As Paul and Clyde take advantage of the pendant's power on their shopping spree, The Kooks' track "Do You Want to See the World?" is played on the soundtrack.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Sarah Jane Adventures|
- The Mark of the Berserker on Tardis Data Core, an external wiki
- The official BBC The Sarah Jane Adventures website
- Press Pack information regarding The Mark of the Berserker at the BBC Press Office website
- The Mark of the Berserker at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Mark of the Berserker at Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- "The Mark of the Berserker" on IMDb